You Can Do Anything for 3 Minutes

Sometimes in a Pure Barre class, the teacher will encourage, “You can do anything for 30 seconds.”

And, the truth is, well, that’s true.

In most cases, you can do anything for 30 seconds. Stand on your toes. Read a book. Hold your breath. Withstand being outside in the sweltering heat for just 30. more. seconds.

Yesterday I started Day 1 of my half-marathon training. It’s not the first time I’ve been in this exact place. Nearly 6 years ago, after moving to Colorado, I signed up to run the Denver Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon. And, ran it I did. Miserably.

I’ve never been a runner. In fact, as a competitive gymnast growing up, we often ran around the gym in an effort to build stamina to withstand 1 minute and 30 seconds of a jam-packed tumbling floor routing, all while smiling. And, at least once a month, I’d hyperventilate. Let’s just say cardio and I weren’t besties.

But, when I moved to Colorado, I thought, “Now I live in this active state, I should run more.” But, really the thought in my head was, “I have something to prove.” To whom? No idea, but prove I did, nonetheless.

Cut to yesterday. I had every intention of getting up early to run, but after getting only four hours of sleep, I chose to sleep in instead. So, half-marathon training was already of to a great start.

Training Plan

When choosing a training plan, I sought out one that didn’t have me rushing into running 3 miles in my first run. But, I also wanted something that didn’t force me to only do running and stretching for the next several weeks. I scoured Nike and Runner’s World and more, and eventually I landed on a 20-week plan that incorporated a mixture of interval training, distance training, and cross-training.

But the best part about this plan? My first run was to go as-follows:

  • Walk for a 5-minute warm-up.
  • 10 circuits of: run 1 minute, walk 2 minutes.
  • Walk for a 5-minute cool-down.

Which meant, I trained for a total of 40 minutes, 30 of which was walking, 10 was running.

What I didn’t tell you is how much I hate running (does anybody truly love running?). So any plan that truly allowed me to ease into blasting my lungs and heart was a winner in my book.

When I trained in the past, it was a distance or a time game. Always trying to get to that 3rd mile before I could walk. And, those three miles took for-ev-er. When I picked running back up last fall, I turned it into a game of, “Just get to that tree up there,” then, “Just get to that house up there.,” and “Just get to the next street up there,” and before I knew it my three miles had come and gone.

That same level of thinking came back yesterday as I ran over lunch (my first day of training was not a loss after all).

With each circuit of 1:2, the path to 13.1 didn’t feel so daunting. For the first time while training my mind focused on the latest episode of 10% Happier while I ran, walked, ran, and walked for 40 minutes. At the end, I closed in just short of a 5k. Not the best time, but considering the first time I ever ran a 5k I finished in 35 minutes, I felt accomplished after yesterday’s run that I walked more than half the time and it only took my 5 minutes more.

So, you can do anything for three minutes. Because three minutes 10 times is 30 minutes, and you’ll be done before you know it.

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